on Designated Survivor S01E01

WARNING: SPOILERS CONTAINED WITHIN THIS REVIEW.

Summary: A low-level Cabinet member is appointed President after a catastrophic attack kills everyone above him in the Presidential line of succession.

The Good: Great casting. Kiefer Sutherland stars as Tom Kirkman, low man on the totem pole who ends up as the President. I like that he isn’t automatically this badass who knows what to do, that he’s an honest man who is somewhat caught off guard and at a loss as what to do with all this power and knowledge being forced down his throat at this horrific time. It’s such an extreme opposite of Jack Bauer that I’m sure most audiences are at a loss.

The rest of the cast is also great – the wife who doesn’t take crap, but is at the same time supportive, the kids who aren’t perfect but are still good. Maggie Q!

The Bad: Right off the bat you could tell the General was going to be a problem. It was almost cliché that he is fixing to take down the President since in his mind, Kirkland is a pussy. I hope they aren’t going to draw this arc out for more than three episodes…that would be boring.

They somewhat tried to put too much in the first episode, and it feels like it should have been a double header to really give it the right first push. Two episode premier would have been just the right amount to give enough information without overload, and give a nicely rounded character introduction to the supporting cast.

The Ugly: Pretty much the entire episode was predictable. Almost the entire thing.  Solely Kiefer’s non-Baur-ness kept it going.

Conclusion: It wasn’t boring, but if it doesn’t get out of the predictable and cliché zone, it’s in danger of getting canceled, despite the amazing cast.

Grade: B-

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